Maximize the space in your small bedroom utilizing space you already have in your closet by creating a closet bed nook!
Welcome back to week two of the One Room Challenge (aka the ORC), hosted by Calling it Home! What’s the ORC? The long and short: A six-week event that challenges those with a love of design to transform a room in just weeks. Crazy, no?
Wanna catch up on the progress? It’s all right here!
Last week we talked about our hopes and dreams for the room of one of our lovely resident teens, which happens to be the smallest and most awkwardly laid-out room in my home! At nearly 15, she’s into makeup, clothes, her friends, and cheerleading and much less into zebra print, singing, teal, and American Girl dolls. We are hoping to transform the room into a Glam Bohemian dream, with a slight edge, full of gray and silver tones mixed with soft pastels. You can check out the whole design plan and the rest of the nasty before pictures HERE.
Step one of that plan is providing an area for a full-sized bed without breaking the bank; Aka: building an add-on to the house! Here is what we were dealing with as far as space goes:
There is literally a door or window on every.single.wall. We could put a full-size bed in the room, perhaps in front of the window, but that blocks opening the closet door. Our only option is to either put in a loft bed or to add on to the room.
Ideally, we’d have a large walk-in closet we could borrow space. Unfortunately, we do not. We had the complete opposite! We had a tiny closet which was nearly unusable. At 48″ wide, with a sloped ceiling over half, the closet could have easily worked as a broom closet – not the closet of a teenage girl! It was, however, relatively deep. Even better, the closet is set up against our pitched roof line which means there is available space behind the wall. Unlike our Game Room attic space, it wasn’t large enough to stand up in, but it was enough that we could borrow a few feet of floor space for a full-size bed. So, that’s precisely what we did!
How to Build a Closet Bed Nook to Increase Space in a Small Room
Get ready to remodel
First, thing; Clean out the closet! Out come the clothes, shoes, American Girl dolls. Now is a great time for purging!
Next, came the closet rods, shelves, etc. You can remove most things with hammers, screwdrivers, and drills, but if you have any questions about how to remove anything tricky, Google can point you in the right direction. Now you’re ready to demo!
Demo is a fabulous word
Remove the door and the door frame. I did not take pictures of this step, but if you need a step-by-step on how to do this, hopefully, this will help!
- Close the door.
- Place a large nail or small screwdriver through the hole at the bottom of the hinge pin and tap with a hammer, so the nail drives upwards, pushing the hinge pin out.
- Swing the door open and pull it to the side, so it falls off the hinges.
- Remove the hinges from the doorframe.
- Usually, the door frame is made up of multiple layers – you’ll need to remove the outer trim first. Use a prybar with a hammer along the seam to break the caulking line. Then, pry the trim pieces off on either side of the door. This will leave a small space between the frame and the rest of the wall.
- Insert your pry bar into the gap between the door jamb and the wall. Pry the jamb off, starting at the bottom of one working upward. Repeat on the other side. You’ll end up with the top of the frame still attached and the sides hanging loosely.
- Tilt the sides towards the center, then grab the sides and push and pull the whole door jamb towards you until the top of the frame comes loose from its nails. Remove any remaining nails or screws.
Create your frame
Next, it was time to cut the hole for the bed frame. The standard size of a full-size mattress is 54″ wide, so I decided on a 59″ wide nook to allow for a built-in bedframe.
I worked on the wall outside the closet first. To ensure as little drywall work as possible – it’s not my favorite thing to do – we continued the angle of the existing sloped ceiling. I measured across the floor and marked my completed width, then used painters tape and a speed square t0 draw a line up the length of the wall. Then starting from the top of the door frame, I measured down the slope, using the existing sloped angle, and marked where the two axes met. Finally, I removed the drywall from inside this area.
Inside the closet, I removed the drywall section below the slope, which opened up the attic area behind the wall. Then removed the existing framing around the door. To create the slope, I measured 2″ above the line and cut the studs at this point.
3/4″ plywood was put down as a subfloor.
Then, I created a frame around it, on both walls using 2″x4″s.
As I said, drywall is not my thing, especially over-head in such a small area. To get around this, we used bead-board panels to finish the ceiling in the nook area. You can’t go wrong with decorative and no mudding required!
A little clean-up, some white paint, some trim work – done! In case you’re wondering, I had to take the carpet out of a neighboring linen closet because we didn’t have any extra.
This faux capiz shell pendant lamp cover had once been the main light for the room, and we still had some love for it. Because it hangs down quite low, it was a much better fit for the nook, so we installed a simple pendant light above where the bed will be, and moved it there.
With a built-in bed, there is no room for a side table. A built-in bookcase gives a little more storage and doesn’t take up any floor space. I built the bookcase from 3/4″ MDF and installed it into the open attic space, setting it flush with the wall. My husband helped me install an electrical outlet in the back of the bookcase, as well as a light switch to control the pendant light.
These pictures don’t do the new space justice – I’m holding back, so I don’t give away any of the other projects we’re working on – but trust me when I say creating the nook has made a significant difference to the footprint of this room.
Here is what it looks like from overhead (crudely).
I’m pretty confident we can check the first item off of our to-do list:
Create space for a larger bed
- Include additional closet space
- Provide well-lit make-up vanity
- Homework desk
- Add Sitting/hangout area
Of course, we haven’t put the new bed in yet, and she doesn’t have a closet – we have to fix that – but a new closet and bed is a story for another day!